Help keep the vulnerable safe from the virus
Get a grip, people! All of us should first and foremost be concerned about protecting the elderly and the immunosuppressed from the potentially fatal consequences of this viral hurricane. That being the prime objective, we should take such steps as may be necessary to stop the virus in its tracks by making sure we don’t get it and don’t create circumstances in which we help spread it! It’s not like most of us haven’t had the flu in recent years, and it didn’t kill those of us who are healthy and in the prime of life.
But if one understands that all these measures are not about us, but about doing our duty to those lovely people living among us who are vulnerable to pneumonia — our grandparents, aunts, uncles of our own, and those of our friends — doesn’t that put you all in a better and more focused frame of mind?
We need honesty to fight the virus
I call on POTUS, along with his health aides, to address anxious Americans from the White House.
He and they must demonstrate to us in detail that ALL measures are being implemented to contain the coronavirus. They must brief us of progress and take questions from the press! These official briefings must be conducted by VP Pence on a regular schedule.
Understating the seriousness of a potential national emergency in the hope of calming the public will result in the opposite reaction. There must be NO politicizing of this very serious situation!!
Trump’s doing a great job fighting the virus
Rabbi Engelmayer should be quarantined for his Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) (“Torah, Talmud, Trump and the coronavirus,” March 6). Even in the midst of a potential pandemic, his TDS leaves him frothing at the mouth attacking Trump. Was there any specific action that Trump could have taken to prevent the virus’s spread or to help cure it? The Rabbi doesn’t list any, rather he doesn’t like Trump’s personnel moves and his attempt to minimize panic. When between 3,000 and 12,000 Americans died during the 2009-2010 H1N1 flu pandemic, I doubt the Rabbi attacked President Obama for anything he did or should have done. Perhaps the Rabbi can stick to positive pursuits, such as pointing to specific action the President should be taking to head off further spread of the disease. I sincerely hope the Rabbi gets his TDS under control soon.
Increasing your joy can be a challenge
According to the Sages, “When Adar arrives, we increase our joy.” Though this sounds simple, in practice the goal may be difficult for many to achieve. Health issues, interpersonal struggles, hunger, and lack of familial support are among the problems that can make it hard to increase one’s happiness. The month of Adar, and with it the holiday of Purim, is a time for those who are able to share their good fortune to help bring joy to others who find themselves in challenging circumstances.
At JFCS, we take this teaching to heart, for we know that improving people’s quality of life helps them to experience greater joy. We strive to serve and elevate our clients in many ways, and according to their needs. Our Café Europa program provides a warm, lively meeting place for Holocaust survivors who are isolated and lonely. Mental health services improve the quality of life for children and adults with mental illness, as well as their families. Counselors assist people in coping with difficult emotional and personal challenges. Our food pantries feed the undernourished and the hungry in our community. While we are responsible for good works all year long, the month of Adar in particular aligns with JFCS’ efforts to make our neighbors feel more hopeful and more optimistic.
Our goal at JFCS is to ensure that no one is struggling alone. We offer our services to our community at three convenient locations in northern New Jersey: Teaneck, Fair Lawn, and Wayne. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please reach out to us by calling (201) 837-9090 or going to www.jfcsnnj.org.
CEO, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Northern New Jersey